The Bridgehead entrance to Crockett is property owned by the state. This acreage was landscaped at great expense by Caltrans to become a local asset of great value. Caltrans has ceased maintenance of this property as of March 2012 and is looking to the Crockett Community Services District (Crockett CSD) to step in. As an interim step, an encroachment permit has been issued by Caltrans so that Crockett can intervene in protecting the bridgehead from decline.
The bridgehead area will provide a beautiful entrance to Crockett through the efforts of volunteers to keep it clean and its 5,300 drought-tolerant plants healthy and properly maintained. Invasive species and weeds will be removed periodically. The capture and reuse of storm water for irrigation will be explored over time, as well as the possible use of reclaimed water from the adjacent wastewater treatment plant. Solar powered lighting along the public path through the bridgehead area will be installed.
Absent a revenue stream to fund routine maintenance and weed abatement, Crockett CSD will be unable to commit to perpetual maintenance of bridgehead property. A way must be found for Crockett to intervene and protect this asset. Initial discussions will focus on the role of local organizations and volunteers with an assist from others required to perform community service.
Crockett has demonstrated a strong volunteer ethic. Leadership and some amount of work will come from this volunteer base. The Committee will work to establish partnerships with local organizations, merchants and individuals for the long-term benefit of having an attractive entrance to Crockett. The Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center (CREEC) operates a greenhouse for native plants adjacent to the bridgehead area and will have an interest in promoting successful landscaping in the bridgehead area. CREEC’s horticultural expert, Dr. Dean Kelch, is already involved in advising the Committee. Crockett Improvement Assn. (CIA) holds semi-annual “town clean-ups” that attract volunteers for plant care and maintenance of public areas. The CIA also has a beautification committee that will take an interest in this property. They have already agreed to adopt the small Caltrans parcel at Sixth & Pomona.
CREEC encourages youth to learn about plant care and other environmental protections through hands-on efforts. Furthermore, the veterans services offered through our Memorial Hall could include training in landscape maintenance, in cooperation with CREEC, utilizing the bridgehead and the greenhouse as the classroom. Regional organizations that might supply temporary workers needing to develop skills are being approached. The California Native Plant Society will also be approached for whatever cooperation they can provide.
Small grants from the Crockett Community Foundation will provide essential funds for safety equipment and tools, along with a portable toilet required for many volunteer programs. The District will explore all available funding mechanisms, including outreach for donations to fund bridgehead maintenance. The possibility of a very small parcel tax for landscape maintenance may eventually be considered by Crockett CSD if public pressure builds high enough to maintain the bridgehead property. Without this stable revenue source, Crockett CSD will be unable to pay for professional or even semi-professional services.